Science Fiction authors generally have a knack of forecasting future realities. In his epic work Dune, Frank Herbert saw a future where humans became so dependant on artificial intelligence that they ended up being enslaved by their own technology. Movies like AI and Bicentennial Man predicted robots acquiring the same rights as humans and living among us as equals.
And while in Dune the humans escaped their slavery and banned “thinking machines”, in The Matrix movie trilogy, humans were relegated to useful sources of energy for the machines, their bodies harvested to use as batteries.
The fiction is becoming reality at an incredible pace, as this latest news item demonstrates:
In ten years, robots will teach pupils
ROBOTS will begin replacing teachers in the classroom within the next 10 years, as part of a revolution in one-to-one learning, a leading educationist has predicted.
Sir Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor of the UK University of Buckingham, said intelligent machines that adapt to suit the learning styles of individual children would soon render traditional academic teaching all but redundant.
Seldon said programmes being developed in Silicon Valley would learn to read the brains and facial expressions of pupils, adapting the method of communication that worked best for them.
The new era of automated teaching promises an end to grouping children by year, as the personalised nature of the robots would enable pupils to learn new material at their own pace, rather than as part of a class.
“Everyone can have the very best teacher and it’s completely personalised; the software you’re working with will be with you throughout your education journey,” he said.
However, he said that the technology would have to be carefully introduced to avoid “infantilising” pupils and teachers.
As part of robot-led learning, teachers would adopt the role of “overseers”, monitoring the progress of individual pupils.
The efficiency of automated teaching would also mean that only 30% percent of school time will be spent in class, Seldon predicted.
He heralds this new era in a book, The Fourth Revolution, due out next year.
“The impact is going to be massive. This is beyond anything that we’ve seen in the industrial revolution or since with any other new technology.” — The Daily Telegraph